Overview

Potato is the most important food crop in the world. It belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Its botanical name is Solanum tuberosum. Sweet Potatoes are different from Potatoes, even if they have some similarities also. Sweet Potatoes comes in various colors like cream, yellow, orange, pink and purple. On the other side, normal potatoes have a white or yellow skin and flesh, red skin and flesh, or russet skin and flesh.

It is fourth most important food crop in the world after rice, maize, and wheat. So many varieties of potatoes are available in a world, but each varies in a shape, size, color, flavor and nutritional content. Potato is also called as Tuber.

In the late 1880s, the potato is valuable as gold because of vitamin C content. White potato becomes the first crop which is grown in the outer space. This was a joint project done by NASA and University of Wisconsin, Madison.

health benefits of potato

Origin

It is believed that the potato originated in South America. Later it was introduced to Europeans by the Spanish explorers in the 16 th century. Now this vegetable is cultivated worldwide, and Idaho is one of the largest producers of Potato.

Nutrition Value

An average potato weighs 148grams and provides 110 calories with a certain amount of dietary fiber. It is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, Potassium, Fat, Sodium, and cholesterol-free.

Serving Size: 1 potato – 148grams.

The below table shows the nutrition percentage of potato.

% Daily intake per serve Average Quantity per
Carbohydrate 9% 26g
Dietary Fibe 7% 2g
Protein 3g
Calcium 2% 20mg
Iron 6% 1.1mg
Potassium 15% 620mg
Vitamin C 30% 27mg
Vitamin B 10% 0.2mg

GI and GL Score

Glycemic Index (GI) is used to measure how quickly a food converts into glucose.

Glycemic Load (GL) is used to measure how much a food converts into glucose.

The following table shows the Glycemic Index of Potato:

Baked Potatoes 111
Boiled Potatoes 82
Instant Mashed Potatoes 97
Baked Sweet Potatoes 94
Boiled Sweet Potatoes 46

The following table shows the Glycemic Load of Potato:

Baked Potatoes 33
Boiled Potatoes 21
Instant Mashed Potatoes 17
Baked Sweet Potatoes 42
Boiled Sweet Potatoes 11

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Benefits

Maintains Bone Health

Potatoes contain rich source of iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and zinc which helps the body to build and maintain the bone structure and strength. For the bone structure phosphorous and calcium are most important, at the same time zinc and iron play crucial role in the production and maturation of Collagen.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Potatoes are a rich source of potassium which helps to control our blood pressure. Research states that eating a potato twice a day can help to reduce the lower blood pressure. The potato contains the fiber which helps to low cholesterol and improves insulin function in our body by binding the cholesterol in the blood.

Prevent Cancer

The red and russets potatoes contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A, like zeaxanthin and carotenes, which protects you from various types of cancer. Researchers found that potato contains a compound called quercetin, which is anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. It contains folate, which places an important role in DNA synthesis and repair, and it prevents to forming various types of cancer cells. Due to the presence of vitamin A and vitamin C in high quantity potatoes has the capacity to fight against cancer cells, and protects your body from damaging effects of cancer.

Boosts Immunity

The research found that consuming potatoes might decrease leucocytes, which are produced in the human body because of inflammation or when a person is ill. Potato is a rich source of vitamin C, and it helps to reduce the common cold.

Improves Digestion

Potatoes contain a huge amount of carbohydrates which makes easy to digest. It is a good diet for babies or those who can't digest hard food. However, overeat potatoes on a regular basis it may cause acidity. It's high in fiber, especially when they are in raw potatoes and cold or hot ones.

Helps you Gain Weight

It contains vitamin C and B-Complex, which plays an important role in the proper absorption of the carbohydrates. Potatoes consist of carbohydrates and very less amount of protein. Potato is a perfect diet plan for a lean and thin people who like to put on weight. It is one of the best food sources for gaining weight in a healthy and progressive way.

Improves Your Skin Health:

Potatoes help to improve your skin health. Following are the benefits of potatoes for the skin

  • Remove Dark Circles
  • Treat Wrinkles
  • Eliminates the Dark Spots
  • Treats the Sunburns
  • Helps to Lighten Skin
  • Treats to Dry Skin
  • Removes the Dead Skin Cells
  • Improves the Collagen Health

Prevent Hair Loss

Potatoes help to prevent the hair loss and prematurely graying hair. Following are the benefits of potatoes for the Hair

  • Helps to Treat Gray Hair
  • Prevents from Hair Loss

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Types

There are more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes, and also over 180 wild potato species.

Following are the few types of potatoes:

  • Yukon Gold
  • Purple Peruvian
  • Idaho Russet
  • Katahdin
  • Red Bliss
  • Adirondack Blue
  • Adirondack Red
  • Fingerling
  • Carola

Availability

All year.

Selection

Potatoes is one of the largest crops in the world. And it is easily available in all the retail outlets in the packaged form or bulk display. It is always recommended to buy from a bulk display so you can inspect them for any signs of decay or damage.

  • Choose the potatoes which are smooth and firm skin without eyes or discoloration.
  • Avoid the potatoes that have the cuts, soft dark areas, and green tinges.
  • Before buying the potatoes which are in a plastic bag, check properly if they contain any rotten potato because it can spoil the other potatoes also.
  • Potatoes with sprouts should avoid because they are old.

Recipes

We can cook both delicious and healthy recipes using potatoes. Below are the few recipes which can make using the potatoes.

  • French Fries
  • Stuffed Potatoes
  • Stuffed Peppers and Potatoes

French Fries

Methods of Cooking

The Cooking Methods of potatoes are as follows:

  • Bake
  • Boil
  • Braise
  • Microwave
  • Roast
  • Steam
  • Stew
  • Stir
  • Fry
  • Stuff

How to Preserve

Always store potatoes in a well-ventilated, cool, and dark place. Never store potatoes in a refrigerator because their starch content will turn them to sugar, later which gives them an undesirable flavor. But we can keep the cooked potatoes in a refrigerator for several days. Mature potatoes can store properly up to two months, and New potatoes can store up to a week. Never keep potatoes near to onions because the gases they emit will cause both the vegetables to go bad. Frequently check the stored potatoes because single spoiled potato can quickly affect the quality of the other potatoes.